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Thompson on Hollywood

AFM News EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain To Star In Princess Di Biopic

Many of the deals announced at the American Film Market will never get made. One hot ticket item that could go forward is current it-girl Jessica Chastain starring as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, reports Liza Foreman.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • November 6, 2011 7:53 PM
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  • 4 Comments

European Film Award Nominations Favor Melancholia, The Artist

The European Film Academy nominations for the European Film Awards 2011 at the Seville European Film Festival were voted on by more than 2,500 EFA members who will now vote for winners to be presented during the awards ceremony on December 3 in Berlin. Continuing their march toward Oscar are The Artist and star Jean Dujardin as well as actresses Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 7:52 PM
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AFI Fest Confirms Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire as Secret Screening

While most of the films being shown for free thanks to Audi at the AFI FEST (November 3-10) have been screened at other festivals, the AFI FEST has managed to grab some movies that weren’t ready for earlier fall tests. They scored the world premiere of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar (November 9) for opening night, landed the closing night North American premiere of Steven Spielberg’s December stateside release The Adventures of Tintin, which is scoring enormous box office overseas, and will show (as we already reported) Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire (January 20) as its Secret Screening. That means it’s not an official world premiere—although in effect it is.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 1:25 PM
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Why Berneys Left FilmDistrict; What’s Next?

As New York indie distributor Bob Berney leaves FilmDistrict, which is consolidating operations in Los Angeles, he and marketing chief Jeanne Berney will be able to do what they should have done all along. Go into business for themselves. Why manage egos, seek credit and deal with others’ production choices and cozy relationships when you should be your own boss? Let the Berneys run with their own taste and judgement.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 6:28 PM
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Laemmle Passes Sunset 5 to Sundance Cinemas

Say good-bye to the Sunset 5 Theaters in West Hollywood. As venerable Laemmle Theatres is preparing to open a new seven-plex in North Hollywood, after almost two decades, it will close the now-shabby Sunset 5 on December 1. Competition from new complexes took films and moviegoers away from the Sunset. Sundance Cinemas will renovate the space and reopen in late spring 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2011 11:10 AM
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AFM News: Sony Takes 1890s Paris Tale Bel Ami, with Pattinson, Thurman, Scott Thomas & Ricci

At AFM, Sony has acquired North American rights to Bel Ami, which stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci. The film, now completed, was co-directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod (the pair worked together on 1992 short The Big Fish, which must have been good if they attracted this cast), and is based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel of the same name, adapted by Rachel Bennette. The story explores themes of ambition, power and seduction, with Pattinson starring as a broke ex-soldier who ascends 1890s Parisian society by manipulating its women.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 8:29 AM
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Malick Fans, Eat Your Heart Out: Two More Films on the Way, Starring Bale, Blanchett, Gosling, Mara

Malick Fans, Eat Your Heart Out: Two More Films on the Way, Starring Bale, Blanchett, Gosling, Mara
FilmNation has two hot tickets to bring to the AFM: Topliners Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are each set to star in two upcoming Terence Malick films. Bale will appear alongside Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett in Lawless, while Knight of Cups will star Bale, Blanchett and Isael Lucas. Both films are in pre-production and news of this is no doubt causing Malick fans to have heart palpitations.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2011 9:28 AM
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Soderbergh's Magic Mike Will Hit Theaters June 2012; Based on Star Channing Tatum's Stripper Days

Steven Soderbergh Magic Mike will hit theaters June 29, 2012 via Warner Bros. The director already has a cut of the film, which stars Channing Tatum---whose earlier days as a male stripper are the inspiration for the movie, written by Reid Carolin. Tatum's stripper teaches Alex Pettyfer's character the ways of the business, on and off the stage. Further plot details are unknown. Matthew McConaughey plays the owner of their club; Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello (pictured, with Tatum and Pettyfer), Gabriel Igelsias, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough, Betsy Brandt, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Cody Horn also co-star.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 28, 2011 7:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

GE and CINELAN Add Filmmakers to Focus Forward Three-Minute Film Initiative

GE and CINELAN announce from The Doha Tribeca Film Festival that the following award-winning filmmakers will join Focus Forward, a global documentary initiative that looks at the human power of ideas and innovation through three-minute films that can educate and inspire: Lucy Walker (director, Waste Land), Eddie Schmidt (producer, Twist of Faith), Phil Cox (director, The Bengali Detective), Leslie Iwerks (director, The Pixar Story) and Stanley Nelson (director, Freedom Riders).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2011 3:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Film Independent Names Producers Lab Participants, Sloan Award Winners

After their weekend-long Film Independent Forum (where Werner Herzog gave the keynote Q & A), FIND announced eleven filmmakers and nine projects for their 11th annual Producers Lab, and named Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger the winners of the 5th annual $25,000 Sloan Producers Grant. Hoff and Pullinger will participate in the Lab with their film, El Diablo Rojo, the story of a marine biologist and his team, who risk their lives to prevent ecological disaster after discovering a super swarm of El Diablo Rojo squid. FIND's director of Artist Development, Josh Welsh, says; “Two of the films we’ve awarded this grant to in the past, Future Weather and Valley of Saints, are in post-production now. I look forward to seeing El Diablo Rojo follow the same path.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 24, 2011 4:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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